The Hasheesh Eater Part 1

(Gaetano Previati – Women Smoking Hashish)

Sunday Afternoon:
Mary is away with a friend, Rowan is filming and I occupy the house alone.

I put this edition together over the last week, a bit slow on the draw and all, but it has some good elements to it. From recordings of Donovan that I never heard, to Anne Waldman finally gracing our pages with poetry, to tales of Hasheesh… It is all here.

I hope you enjoy!

Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:
The Links
Poetry: Anne Waldman
Donovan – Live 1967 Anaheim – Sand and Foam
The Hasheesh Eater Part 1
Donovan – Live 1967 Anaheim – The Lullaby of Spring
Links Of Interest:
Art Palettes Of The Masters For Artist
HR. Giger Retrospective At Fantastic Visions
The Problem With Beliefs
The Rebel Clown Army Manifesto
Poetry: Anne Waldman

“Thy” of No Dire Greenhouse Effect

Yea tho I am walking
yea tho I walk forever in thy direction which is thy “thyness”
yea tho thy “thyness” be friendly
that it be no shadow, that it be no death
yea that thy “thy” be willing, be aura, be oracular
yea that “thyness” be without gender without godhead
godhead is no way to be walking towards “thy”
thy is no kingdom come
thy is no purple privileged glory
thy is no flag, no rod, no scepter, no staff of brutality
thy is no random particle
thy is a kind site of no dire greenhouse effect
thy is a place with conscientious war tribunals
they is of mercy and follows all the days of tracking war criminals
thy is the hours of constant tracking
thy will keep you awake in any time zone tracking
because thy is observation, is a current affair, is tracking “thy”
thy goes back to any older time you mention
a time the increments of language were simpler, were strange
thy was a module, thy was a repository
thy was a canticle for future discipleship
thy is architecture, thy is the entire book for the things of “thy”
thy is a book of thy “thyness” which is not owned
can you guess the “thy” in all the days of my defiance
yea tho I fear thy terror of “thy” amnesia, thy negligence
yea tho it stalks me in the valley
yea that it beseeches me to lighten up
yea tho it behooves me to abdicate “thy”
I will keep the sleep of ancient times
of Arcady of the holy cities where thy hides
thy could be done, thy could be stationary in any language
and then thy could be moving as I do in pursuit of sanity
that they track the war profiteers
that they track the war criminals
that they track the murderers
who slaughter innocents
that they are exposed in the market place
that they are brought to justice.
A Phonecall from Frank O’Hara

“That all these dyings may be life in death”

I was living in San Francisco
My heart was in Manhattan
It made no sense, no reference point
Hearing the sad horns at night,
fragile evocations of female stuff
The 3 tones (the last most resonant)
were like warnings, haiku-muezzins at dawn
The call came in the afternoon
“Frank, is that really you?”

I’d awake chilled at dawn
in the wooden house like an old ship
Stay bundled through the day
sitting on the stoop to catch the sun
I lived near the park whose deep green
over my shoulder made life cooler
Was my spirit faltering, grown duller?
I want to be free of poetry’s ornaments,
its duty, free of constant irritation,
me in it, what was grander reason
for being? Do it, why? (Why, Frank?)
To make the energies dance etc.

My coat a cape of horrors
I’d walk through town or
impending earthquake. Was that it?
Ominous days. Street shiny with
hallucinatory light on sad dogs,
too many religious people, or a woman
startled me by her look of indecision
near the empty stadium
I walked back spooked by
my own darkness
Then Frank called to say
“What? Not done complaining yet?
Can’t you smell the eucalyptus,
have you never neared the Pacific?
‘While frank and free/call for
musick while your veins swell’”
he sang, quoting a metaphysician
“Don’t you know the secret, how to
wake up and see you don’t exist, but
that does, don’t you see phenomena
is so much more important than this?
I always love that.”
“Always?” I cried, wanting to believe him
“Yes.” “But say more! How can you if
it’s sad & dead?” “But that’s just it!
If! It isn’t. It doesn’t want to be
Do you want to be?” He was warming to his song
“Of course I don’t have to put up with as
much as you do these days. These years.
But I do miss the color, the architecture,
the talk. You know, it was the life!
And dying is such an insult. After all
I was in love with breath and I loved
embracing those others, the lovers,
with my body.” He sighed & laughed
He wasn’t quite as I’d remembered him
Not less generous, but more abstract
Did he even have a voice now, I wondered
or did I think it up in the middle
of this long day, phone in hand now
dialing Manhattan


eviction people arrive to haunt me
with descriptions of summer’s wildflowers
how they are carpet of fierce colors

I bet you hate to see us they say and yes
I do hate to have to move again especially from here
destruction brought to place of love

the uneven smiles that win she’s a business woman
blond tints that glow at sunset as profits rise
alas what labor I employ

but to ensure a moment’s joy
sets branches trembling & arms chilled
dear one long returning home, come to

clammy feverish details, muffed sorrow
I turn to throw a tear of rage in the pot
never remorse but hint of scruples I’d hope for

it is error it is speculation it is real estate
it is the villain and comic slippery words
the work of despotic wills to make money

I scream take it take your money! make your money
go on it’s only money, here’s a wall of dry rot
here’s an unfinished ceiling, just a little sunlight

peeks through this (lark, no luminance! exquisite St. Etienne
stove doesn’t work icebox either too hot or frozen
firescreen tumbling down

kitchen insulation droops is ugly & a mess
ah but love it here, only surface appearances
to complain of, nothing does justice

to shape of actual events I love
but a fight against artificiality
its inherent antagonism, bald hatred of moving

and problem of thirsty fig tree in Burroughs
apartment wakes me I don’t want to go down there yet
& how to orchestrate the summer properly

the problem of distress & not denying pride from it
too atomized to make pleasure of melancholy
& an uncontrollable enthusiasm for throne & altar

I want to sit high want simple phalanx
of power independent of everything but free will
& one long hymn in praise of the cabin!

it is a confession in me impenetrably walled in
like aesthetics like cosmos an organ of
metaphysics and O this book gives me a headache

dear Weston La Barre let’s have an argument
because I see too clearly how rational I must be &
the kernel of my faith corrupted

because you have no reliance on the shaman & outlaw
or how depth of mind might be staggering
everywhere except in how important science is

science? no he won’t he fooled by visions
whereas I wait for dazzling UFOs they announce
will arrive high in these mountains

I repair the portal even invite stray horses in
have a little toy receiving station
that sits by the bed

at the edge of night all thoughts to place of love
all worries to this place of love
all gestures to the place of love

all agonies to place of love, thaws to place
of love, swarthy valley sealed
in wood, log burst into flame

in home of love, all heart’s dints
and machinations, all bellows & pungency
antemundane thoughts to palace of love

all liberties, singularity, all imaginings
I weep for, Jack’s sweet almond-eyed daughter to
place of love, & heavy blankets

and terracing & yard work & patch work
& tenacity & the best in you
surround me work in me to place my love

dear cirques, clear constraint, dissenting
inclinations of a man and a woman, Metonic cycle
all that sweats in rooms, lives in nature

requiems & momentum & trimmings of bushes
dried hibiscus & hawks & shyness
brought to this place of love

trees rooted fear rooted all roots brought
to place of love, mystery to heart of love
& fibers

and fibers in sphere of love a whole world makes
spectators of slow flowering of spring
& summer when you walk to town for eggs

and continuous hammerings as new people
arrive & today we notice for first time
a white-crowned sparrow out by the feeder

with the chickadees & juncos & I missed
that airplane-dinosaur in dream nervous
to travel again, miss buds pop open

to shudder in breeze, their tractability
makes sudden rise of sensibility you are
shuddering too & your boy laugh

comes less frequent now you’re drawn into
accountability, will I return to find all
stuff tidy in silver truck

ready to go? it’s you in this place I lose
most because it’s here in you I forget
where I am, this place for supernaturals

perched high in sky & wind, held by wind in stationary
motion as bluebird we observe over meadow or caught
up with jetstream dipping in valley’s soft cradle

power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes
power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes to
make it work while

down there someone building replicas of what
it feels like to be a human multitude, fantasy
molded clumsily, spare my loves

and love of glorious architecture when you really put
outside in, the feeling of cloud or mountain
or stone

having developed an idea of idyllic private life
& sovereignty of spirit over common
empirical demand

I tell you about renunciation, I tell you holy
isolation like a river nears ocean to

and cabin becomes someone’s idea of a good place
discretion you pay for it wasn’t mine either
but sits on me imprints on me

forever splendor of fog, snow shut strangers out
gradual turn of season, ground stir, pine
needle tickle your shoulder, peak curve, fresh air.

Alphabet of Mother Language

If Kali were a car, what kind of car would she be? A Batmobile? She, as primordial vehicle. She with emanations to wiles of any mother. She with hair on fire. Mouth a flame with wrathful breath. This is the feminine speaking, this is the mouth and body and curse of the female. See her on the street, in the subway, at the endless-wait terminal. She waiting. Many storms of waiting. Just below the surface. Red eyes, gaping mouth, lolling tongue. Definition in a defining way the deafening roar of Kali which is the roar of Time. She is Time. And She devours Time. Naked Time. Naked Kali. She is an open system. She eats energy and manifests energy. No concept need apply. She is the flickering tongue of Agni, fire. She is the mother of language and mantra. She is all 51 letters of the Devanagari alphabet, each letter a form of energy, a twinge of energy, a torque of energy. Each letter a star, each letter a sign, each letter an empyrean gesture, each letter a captured sound, each letter a resolve, each letter a rune, each letter a whiplash, each letter a scorching brand, each letter a flame, each letter a twitch, each letter a bundle of firewood, each letter a thirsty pioneer, each letter a charnel ground, each letter a rice harvest, each letter a cooking pot, each, each letter a treasure, each letter a tide now rising, each letter an eolithic moon, each letter a sun in shadow, each letter a love affair, each letter a possible mistake, each letter a symbol of change, each letter a wheel, each letter a wheel of change, each letter a triumph, each letter a solar wind, each letter a storm, each letter a cameo appearance, each one a treaty, each one a place where plutonium safely resides, each one an hedrumite resolution, each one an epitrope, each one an orchestra of many gongs, each one an evening, a morning with snow, a morning with scorching heat, each one a necessary tribulation, each one a massacre that will be revealed, each one a torture that will be revealed, each letter a bamboo thicket, each one a candle lit to all the deities in all ten directions of space, each one a pillow, a mat, a blanket, each one a water buffalo, each one a bride, each one a hag, each letter a palpable hit…

Donovan – Live 1967 Anaheim – Sand and Foam

The Hasheesh Eater Part 1

(Leon Gerome – An Arnaut Guard Blowing Smoke At His Dog)

Putnam’s Magazine
September 1856

It was at Damascus that I took my first dose of hasheesh, and laid the foundations of that habit which, through the earlier years of my manhood, imprisoned me like an enchanted palace. It was surely a worthy spot on which to build up such an edifice of hallucinations as I did there erect and cement around my soul by the daily use of this weed of insanity. Certainly no other spot could be so worthy, unless it were Bagdad, the marvelous city of the marvelous Sultan, Haroun al Rashid. I need not tell the reasons: every one can imagine them; every one, at least, who knows what Damascus is; much more everyone who has been there. It was among shadowy gardens, filled with oriental loungers, and in Saracenic houses, gay as kaleidoscopes with gilding and bright tintings, that I made myself the slave of the hasheesh. It was surrounded by objects so suitable for dream-work, that, by the aid of this wizard of plants, I fabricated that palace of alternating pleasure and torture which was for years my abiding place. In this palace I sometimes reveled with a joy so immense that I may well call it multitudinous; or I ran and shrieked it through its changeful spaces with an agony which the pen of a demon could not describe suitably; surrounded, chased, overclouded by all the phantasms of mythology or the Arabian Nights; by every strange, ludicrous, or horrible shape that ever stole into my fancy, from books of romance or tales of spectredom.

It is useless to think of relating, or even mentioning, the visions which, during four or five years passed through my drugged brain. A library would not suffice to describe them all: many, also, were indistinct in their first impressions, and others have so mingled together with time, that I cannot now trace their individual outlines. As the habit grew upon me, too, my memory gradually failed, and a stupor crept over me which dulled the edges of all events, whether dreams or realities. A dull confusion surrounded me at all times, and I dropped down its hateful current, stupid, indifferent, unobserving, and never thoroughly awake except when a fresh dose of the plant stimulated my mind into a brief consciousness of itself and its surroundings. The habit and its consequences naturally deepened my morbid unsociability of temper, and sunk me still more fixedly in the hermit-like existence which I had chosen. For some years I made no acquaintance with the many European travelers who pass through Syria; and I even, at last, got to avoid the presence of my listless oriental companions — keeping up no intimacy except with those who, like myself, daily wandered through the saharas and eases of hasheesh dreamland. Never before did I so completely give myself up to my besetting sin; for a sin I now consider it to cast off one’s moorings to humanity to fly from one’s fellow-beings and despise, at once, their good will and their censure.

A terrible fever at last came to my relief and saved me by dragging me, as it were, through the waters of death. While the sickness continued, I could not take the hasheesh; and when I recovered, I had so far gained my self-control, that I resolved to fling the habit aside forever. I am ashamed to confess that it was partly the urgings of an old friend which supported me to this pitch of real heroism. He was a young physician from my own city, and we had been companions and often room-mates through school and college, although it was by the merest accident that he met me in Beirut a few days before my seizure. Two months he watched by me, and then perfected his work by getting me on board the steamer for Marseilles, and starting me well homeward. I shall have to speak of him again; but I cannot give his name, further than to call him Doctor Harry, the pet title by which he was known in his own family.

I reached Marseilles, hurried through France, without passing more than a night even at Paris, and sailed for New York in a Havre steamer. In less than a month after I stepped from the broken columns which lie about the landing place of Beirut, I was strolling under the elms of my native city in Connecticut. The spell was broken by this time, and its shackles fallen altogether both from mind and body. I felt no longing after the hasheesh; and the dreary languor which once seemed to demand its restorative energy had disappeared: for my constitution was vigorous, and I was still several years under thirty. But such chains as I had worn, could not be carried so long without leaving some scars behind them. The old despotism asserted itself yet in horrible dreams, or in painful reveries which were almost as vivid, and as difficult to break as dreams. These temporary illusions generally made use of two subjects, as the scaffolds on which to erect their troublesome cloud-castles: First, the scenery and personages of my old hasheesh visions; second, the incidents of my journey homeward. I was not at all surprised to find myself haunted by sultans, Moors, elephants, afreets, rocs, and other monstrosities of the Arabian Nights; but it did seem unreasonable that I should be plagued, in the least degree, by the reminiscences of that wholesome, and, on the whole, pleasant flight from the land of my captivity. The rapidity and picturesqueness of the transit had impressed themselves on my imagination; and I now journeyed in spirit, night after night, and sometimes day after day, without rest and without goal; hurried on by an endless succession of steamers, diligences and railroad trains, all driven at their utmost speed; beholding oceans of foam, immeasurable snow mountains, cities of many leagues in extents and population, whose multitudes obstructed my passage. But these illusions, whether sleeping or waking, were faint and mild compared with my old hasheesh paroxysms, and they grew rapidly weaker as time passed onward. The only thing which seriously and persistently annoyed me was an idea that my mind was slightly shaken. I vexed myself with minute self-examinations on this point, and actually consulted a physician as to whether some of my mental processes did not indicate incipient insanity. He replied in the best manner possible: he laughed at me, and forbade my pursuing those speculations.

All this time I amused myself in society, and even worked pretty faithfully at my legal profession. I shall say nothing of my cases, however, for, like most young lawyers, I had very few of them; all the fewer, doubtless, because long residence abroad had put me back in my studies. But I must speak at some length of my socialities, inasmuch as they soon flung very deep roots into my heart, and mingled themselves there with the poisonous decay of my former habit.

The first family whose acquaintance I renewed, on reaching home, was that of my dear friend, Doctor Harry. His father, the white-headed old doctor, and his dignified, kindly mother, greeted me with a heartiness that was like enthusiasm. I had been a school-fellow of their absent son; and more than that I had very lately seen him; and more still, I spoke of him with warm praise and gratitude. They treated me with as much affection as if it were I who had saved Harry’s life, and not Harry who had saved mine. A reception equally cordial was granted me by the doctor’s two daughters: Ellen and Ida. Ellen, whom I knew well, was twenty-three years old, and engaged to be married. She was the same lively, nervous, sentimental thing as of old; wore the same long black ringlets, and tossed her head in the same flighty style. Ida, four years younger than her sister, was almost a stranger to me; for she was a mere child when I first became a beau, and had been transferred from the nursery to the boarding-school without attracting my student observation. She was quite a novelty, therefore, a most attractive novelty also — the prettiest, unobtrusive style of woman that ever made an unsought conquest. I was the conquest, not the only conquest that she ever made, indeed; but the only one that she ever designed to accept. I could not resist the mild blue eyes, the sunny brown hair, the sweet blonde face, and the dear little coral mouth. She had the dearest little expression in her mouth when she was moved; a pleading, piteous expression that seemed to beg and entreat without a spoken word; an expression that was really infantine, not in silliness, but in an unutterable pathetic innocence. Well, she quite enslaved me, so that in three months I was more her captive than I had ever been to the hasheesh, even in the time of my deepest enthrallment.

I would not, however, offer myself to her until I had written to Doctor Harry, and asked him if he could permit his little sister to become the wife of the hasheesh eater. His reply was not kinder than I expected, but it was more cordial, and fuller of confidence. He knew little, in comparison with myself, of the strength of that old habit; nothing at all of the energy with which it can return upon one of its escaped victims. He was sure that I had broken its bonds; sure that I never would be exposed to its snares again; sure that I would resist the temptation, were it to come ever so powerful. Yes, he was quite willing that I should marry Ida; he would rejoice to meet me at his home as his brother. I might, if I chose, tell my history to his father, and leave the matter to him; but that was all that honor could demand of me, and even that was not sternly necessary.

I did as Harry directed, and related to the old physician all my dealings with the demon of hasheesh. Like a true doctor, he was immensely interested in the symptoms, and plunged into speculations as to whether the diabolical plant could not be introduced with advantage into the materia medica. No astonishment at my rashness; no horror at my danger; no grave disapproval of my weak wickedness; no particular rejoicing at what I considered my wonderful escape. And when, a few days after, I asked him if he could surrender his child to such a man as I, he laughed heartily, and shook both my hands with an air of the warmest encouragement. I felt guilty at that moment, as well as happy; for it seemed as if I were imposing upon an unsuspecting ignorance, which could not and would not be enlightened. Nor did Ida say no any more than the others, although she made up a piteous little face when I took her hand, and looked as if she thought I had no right to ask her for so much as her whole self. So I was engaged to Ida, and was happier than all the hasheesh eaters from Cairo to Stamboul.

It was about a month after our engagement, and two months before the time fixed for our marriage, that a box reached us from Smyrna. It contained a quantity of Turkish silks, and other presents from Harry to his sisters, besides the usual variety of nargeelehs, chibouks, tarbooshes, scimitars, and so forth, such as young travelers usually pick up in the East. The doctor and I opened the packages, while Ellen, Ida, and their mother skipped about in delight from wonder to wonder. Among the last things came a small wooden box, which Ellen eagerly seized upon, declaring that it contained attar of roses. She tore off the cover, and displayed to my eyes a mass of that well-remembered drug, the terrible hasheesh. “What is it?” she exclaimed, “Is this attar of roses? No it isn’t. What is it, Edward? Here, you ought to know.”

“It is hasheesh,” I said, looking at it as if I saw an afreet or a ghoul.

“Well, what is hasheesh? Is it good to eat? Why, what are you staring at it so for? Do you want some? Here, eat a piece. I will if you will.”

“Bless me!” exclaimed the doctor, dropping a Persian dagger and coming hastily forward. “Is that the real hasheesh? Bless me, so that is hasheesh, is it? Dear me, I must have a specimen. What is the ordinary dose for an adult, Edward?”

I took out a bit as large as a hazelnut, and held it up before his eyes. He received it reverently from my hands, and surveyed it with a prodigious scientific interest. “Wife,” said he, “Ellen, Ida, this is hasheesh. This is an ordinary dose for an adult.”

“Well, what is hasheesh?” repeated Ellen, tossing her ringlets as a colt does his mane. “Father! what is it? Did you ever take any, Edward?”

“Yes,” mumbled the doctor, examining the lump with microscopic minuteness; “Edward is perfectly acquainted with the nature of the drug; he has made some very interesting experiments with it.”

“Oh, take some, Edward,” cried Ellen. “Come, that’s a good fellow. Here, take this other bit. Let’s take a dose all round.”

“No, no,” said Ida, catching her sister’s hand. “Why, you imprudent child! Better learn a little about it before you make its acquaintance. Tell us, Edward, what does it do to people?”

I told them in part what it had done to me; that is, I told them what mighty dreams and illusions it had wrapped around me; but I could not bring myself to narrate before Ida how shamefully I had been its slave. When I had finished my story, Ellen broke forth again: “Oh, Edward, take a piece, I beg of you. I want to see you crazy once. Come, you are sane enough in a general way; and we should all enjoy it so to see you make a fool of yourself for an hour or two.”

She put the morsel to my lips and held it there until Ida pushed her hand away, almost indignantly. I looked at my little girl, and, although she said nothing, I saw on her mouth that piteous, pleading expression which appeared to me enough to move angels or demons. It moved me, but not sufficiently; the smell of the hasheesh seemed to sink into my brain; the thought of the old visions came up like a wave of intoxication. Still I refused; two or three times that afternoon I refused; but in the evening, Ellen handed me the drug again. “It is the last time,” I said to myself; and taking it from her hand I began to prepare it. The doctor stood by, nervous with curiosity, and urged caution; nothing more than caution; that was the whole of his warning. Ida looked at me in her imploring way, but said nothing; for she only suspected, and did not at all comprehend the danger.

I swallowed the drug while they all stood silent around me; and I laughed loudly, with a feeling of crazed triumph, as I perceived the well-remembered savor. My little girl caught my sleeve with a look of extremest terror; the doctor quite as eagerly seized my pulse and drew out his repeater. “Oh, what fun!” said Ellen. “Do you see anything now, Edward?”

Of course I saw nothing as yet; for, be it known, that the effect of the hasheesh is not immediate; half an hour or even an hour must elapse before the mind can fully feel its influence. I told them so, and I went on talking in my ordinary style until they thought that I had been jesting with them, and had taken nothing. But forty minutes had not passed before I began to feel the usual symptoms, the sudden nervous thrill, followed by the whirl and prodigious apparent enlargement of the brain. My head expanded wider and wider, revolving with inconceivable rapidity, and enlarging in space with every revolution. It filled the room — the house — the city; it became a world, peopled with the shapes of men and monsters. I spun away into its great vortex, and wandered about its expanses as about a universe. I lost all perception of time and space, and knew no distinction between the realities around me, and the phantasmata which sprung in endless succession from my brain. Ida and the others occasionally spoke to me; and once I thought that they kneeled around and worshipped me; while I, from behind a marble altar, responded like a Jupiter. Then night descended, and I heard a voice saying: “Christ is come, and thou art no more a divinity.”

The altar disappeared at that instant, and I came back to this present century, and to my proper human form. I was in the doctor’s house, standing by a window, and gazing out upon a moonlit street filled with promenading citizens. Beside me was a sofa upon which Ida lay and slept, with her head thrown back, and her throat bared to the faint silvery brilliance which stole through the gauze curtains. I stooped and kissed it passionately; for I had never before seen her asleep, nor so beautiful; and I loved her as dearly in that moment as I had ever done when in full possession of my sanity. As I raised my head, her father opened a door and looked into the room. He started forward when he saw me; then he drew back, and I heard him whisper to himself: “She is safe enough, he will not hurt her.”

The moment he closed the door a window opened, and a voice muttered: “Kill her, kill her, and the altar and the adoration shall be yours again” to which innumerable voices from the floor, and the ceiling and the four walls responded: “Glory, glory in the highest to him who can put himself above man, and to him who fears not the censure of man!”

I drew a knife from my pocket, and opened it instantly; for a mighty persuasion was wrought in me by those promises. “I will kill her,” I said to myself, “dearly as I love her; for the gift of Divinity outweighs the love of woman or the wrath of man.

I bent over her and placed the knife to her throat without the least pity or hesitation, so completely had all love, all nobleness, all humanity, been extinguished in me by the abominable demon of hasheesh. But suddenly she awoke, and fixed on me that sweet, piteous, startled look which was so characteristic of her. It made me forget my purpose for one moment, so that, with a lunatic inconsistency, I bent my head and kissed her hand as gently as I had ever done. Then the demoniac whisper, as if to recall my wandering resolution, swept again through the eglantines of the window: “Kill her, kill her, and the altar and the adoration shall be yours again.”

She did not seem to hear it; for she stretched out her hands to give me a playful push backwards, while, closing her eyes again, she sank back to renewed slumber. Then, in the height of my drugged insanity, in the cold fury of my possession, I struck the sharp slender blade into her white throat once, and once more, with quick repetition, into her heart. “Oh, Edward, you have killed me!” she said, and seemed to die with a low moan, not once stirring from her position on the sofa.

I took no further notice of her; I did not see her in fact after the blow; for the smoke of sacrifices rose around me, obscuring the room; and once more I stood in divine elevation above a marble altar. There were giant colonnades on either side, sweeping forward to a monstrous portal, through which I beheld countless sphinxes facing each other adown an interminable avenue of granite. Before me, in the mighty space between the columns, was a multitude of men, all bowing with their faces to the earth, while priests chanted anthems to my praise as the great Osiris. But suddenly, before I could shake the temple with my nod, I saw one in the image of Christ enter the portal and advance through the crowd to the foot of my altar. It was not Christ the risen and glorified; but the human and crucified Jesus of Nazareth. I knew him by his grave sweetness of countenance; I knew him still better by his wounded hands and bloody vestments. He beckoned me to descend and kneel before him; and when I would have called on my worshipers for aid, I found that they had all vanished; so that I was forced to come down and fall at his pierced feet in helpless condemnation. Then he passed judgment upon me, saying: “Forasmuch as thou hast sought to put thyself above man, all men shall abhor and shun thee.”

He disappeared, and when I rose the temple had disappeared also, with every trace of that mighty worship by which I had been for a moment surrounded. Then did my punishment commence; nor did it cease throughout a seeming eternity; for, in order to complete it, time was reversed, and I could live in bygone ages; so that I ran through the whole history of the world, and was avoided with loathing by every generation. First I stood near the garden of Eden, and saw a hideous man hurrying by it, alone, with a bloody mark on his forehead. “This is Cain,” I said to myself; “this is a wicked murderer, also, and he will be my comrade.”

I ran toward him confidently, eagerly, and with an intense longing for companionship; but when he saw me he covered his face and fled away from me, with incomparable swiftness, shrieking: “Save me, O God, from this abominable wretch!”

To Be Continued…
Donovan – Live 1967 Anaheim – The Lullaby of Spring

(Fabio Fabbi – Oriental Dancers Cairo)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.